Product Review: Nextcast's Winter Authority

Product Review: Nextcast's Winter Authority
Winter Wonderland

The world of winter steelheading has gone crazy for Skagit heads, and for good reason: these shorter heads can chuck some heavy junk to distant and deep lies, not to mention these heads load in tight conditions and fly well despite stiff winds.


But Skagit head's compactness can be their downfall, especially on big uniform water. If you're sending 80 to 100 foot casts all day with a 25 foot head, you're stripping 55 to 75 feet of line back to you between each cast. Over the course of the day, that's maybe an hour or more of fishing time spent stripping line--not swinging flies. Plus, the more running line in the water, the more likely you are to snag a guide or a stick or your boot during the cast.

Enter Nextcast's Winter Authority.

Nextcast Lines are the brainchild of tournament caster Simon Hsieh, who has twice won the Spey O Rama casting competition. His lines consistently place in the top five at major casting competitions, and if you check the reels of Northwest steelhead guides, you'll find his creations.


The Winter Authority comes in two sizes, the 45' head built for 12' tips and the 55' head built for 15' tips. These heads loop into your running line and will throw small to medium-sized flies and light to moderate tips a mile.

These aren't Skagit heads, and they aren't built to be cast with sustained anchor techniques, though they can be made to cast in this manner. They excel in touch-and-go scenarios, which makes them much faster to reposition for a new swing than Skagit heads. Strip to the head, use a single spey, and you're fishing again.

Unlike Skagit heads, which have a substantial amount of their mass at the rear end and hence need to be stripped right to the connection with the running line, the Winter Authority has its mass spread over more of its length. As a result, the line tends to cast best when stripped to within 2-3 feet of the head; that overhand helps load the rod. With your Winter Authority, experiment with the overhang until you've found a distance that consistently produces tight loops with your casting style.


The Winter Authority isn't a go-everywhere do-everything head--I've found it to struggle when casting heavy tips like T-14 or when throwing heavy flies like rabbit leeches--but if you're looking to fish big water this winter with 2-4 inch flies and T-8 or T-11, and you want to spend more time swinging and less time stripping, give the Winter Authority a try. You'll be pleased.

The Winter Authority 45 and 55 are available as heads only, and retail for $89.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Popular Videos

Beadhead Hare's-ear Nymph

Learn to tie one of the word's most versatile and productive fly patterns.

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

Anti-Invasive Species Boots

Editor Ross Purnell joins K.C. Walsh of Simms to talk about a new rubber compound material that was specially designed to outperform and replace the use of felt boots in effort to combat the spread of invasive species.

See more Popular Videos

More Lines

Lines

Top Spey Line Options for Fly Fishing

Fly Fisherman - March 01, 2013

One of the most complicated aspects of twohanded rods is line selection. Today, top spey line...

Lines

WF vs. DT Fly Lines, The Great Debate

Lance Egan - April 25, 2012

One of the long standing myths in fly fishing is that a Double Taper (DT) fly lines are more...

Lines

Cortland Trout Boss

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 23, 2013

We tested the Cortland Trout Boss in Montana, Chile, and Pennsylvania, and found it worked...

See More Lines

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×